How TUDCA supplement aids Gallbladder and Liver Health?
It’s hard to sift through all the promotional content on the best gallbladder support supplement. With so much on the market, how do you decide what works best?
When deciding on supplements– especially for someone with gallbladder dysfunction or no gallbladder at all– it’s crucial to take an individualized approach. Everybody is different!
Always consider your unique needs. If you’ve had your gallbladder removed, the number one thing that changes post-op is bile production and flow. And bile is crucial for digestion.
So you need a gallbladder support supplement that optimizes digestion, aids in fat absorption, and promotes liver health to support these changes in bile.
But where to start?!
As a holistic nutritionist for gallbladder disease patients, I’ve spent years researching ideal supplements that work best for us gallbladder warriors. And now that I’m a mom to my sweet son, I’m even more motivated to manage my symptoms and promote healthy digestion so I can show up for my family and loved ones.
Along with diet and lifestyle changes, supplements can be KEY in promoting your health. So you can keep symptoms at bay, creating more time for things you enjoy.
Some gallbladder support supplements used to optimize fat digestion are:
- Digestion enzymes
- Digestive bitters
- Bile salts: like TUDCA (tauroursodeoxycholic acid) and Ox bile
I usually use a combination of these supplements, but today I want to touch on the importance of TUDCA and why it’s a key gallbladder support supplement.
What is TUDCA?
TUDCA (tauroursodeoxycholic acid) is a taurine conjugate of ursodeoxycholic acid. To break this down, TUDCA is a secondary bile acid that’s naturally formed in your body by your gut bacteria.
TUDCA assists in:
- Liver detoxification
- Gallbladder health
- Metabolism of fat
- Healthy bile flow
It supports the digestion and absorption of fats and oils. And it’s even said to have neuroprotective benefits.1 It helps replace the loss of bile after you’ve had your gallbladder removed.
Unfortunately, TUDCA production can be decreased when you have gallbladder dysfunction. So those of us with gallbladder disease may not get enough TUDCA to truly feel its benefits.
But TUDCA is available to take in the form of a common bile salt supplement, and it’s often recommended to patients with gallbladder disease. It can be really helpful in decreasing gallstones.
Research shows that TUDCA’s benefits occur anywhere from one to six months of daily use.
Benefits of TUDCA
As mentioned, TUDCA aids in fat metabolism and digestion, increases the healthy flow of bile, and supports liver detoxification.
A few additional benefits to note are that TUDCA:
- Reduces liver enzymes
- Reduces free radicals
- Reduces intestinal inflammation
- Promotes a healthy gut microbiome
- Helps reduce cellular stress and protect DNA
- Supports cellular and mitochondrial health
TUDCA has properties that make it an essential gallbladder support supplement. And it can also help with common gallbladder conditions like fatty liver and leaky gut.
Fatty liver disease occurs when the liver can’t break down fats the way it’s supposed to. But taking TUDCA may actually reverse fatty liver through the gut-liver axis. TUDCA can also address biliary cirrhosis and hepatitis– other diseases of the liver.
Leaky gut can be another side effect for gallstone disease patients. But TUDCA helps support a healthy inflammation response in the gastrointestinal tract– preventing leaky gut syndrome.
And of course, a major benefit of taking TUDCA is that it may reduce your risk of gallstones.
Supplementation with TUDCA can improve the gut microbiome and in turn, prevent gallstones.2 It reduces the saturation of cholesterol in bile acids, dissolving gallstones before they’re fully formed.
So with all these massive benefits, there’s no doubt that TUDCA is essential to our digestion and overall well-being. As you’ve learned, it’s available in your body. But what causes it to be too low that you need supplementation to support its function?
Causes of TUDCA Depletion
The body only produces small amounts of TUDCA. Digestion re-circulates about 95% of the body’s bile salts in a generally healthy person. However certain factors can impair this process and deplete the available circulating TUDCA.
Common factors limiting TUDCA include:
- Poor diet
- Poor sleep
- Increased stress
- Overexposure to toxins
- Certain medications like antibiotics and proton-pump inhibitors (PPIs)
Impaired liver detoxification leading to decreased liver function can limit the recirculation of bile salts like TUDCA. Also, issues in the digestive system like gut dysbiosis or unbalanced bacteria in the gut can reduce the availability of TUDCA.
And finally, most crucial to us– impaired gallbladder function depletes the amount of bile salts like TUDCA in the body. Of course, this leads to issues with the breakdown of fats and the absorption of nutrients.
When any of these factors are present, TUDCA supplementation becomes key.
Supplementation with Bile Salts: TUDCA vs. Ox Bile
Bile acids are stored in the gallbladder as bile salts. They work to reduce the cholesterol content of bile so gallstone formation is less likely.
So taking TUDCA– a bile salt supplement– is massively beneficial for digestive health and fat metabolism.
Another common bile supplement you may hear of is Ox bile. Ox bile is bile from an ox– just how it sounds. It’s usually recommended when people have bile deficiency. It can support digestive health– aiding in the absorption of fats and vitamins.
TUDCA is actually a bile salt that’s already naturally occurring in ox bile. And as you know, research tells us that TUDCA supports gut health, and aids in fat metabolism in the intestines.
It’s often recommended when supplementing with TUDCA to use Ox Bile along with it.
TUDCA is just one of four bile acids essential for the body. And for optimal fat digestion, all four bile acids are needed. Ox bile provides these additional bile acids, and it also ensures the balance of all four bile acids so TUDCA supplementation can be fully effective. 6
Always consult with your doctor before starting a new supplement to ensure it’s right for you.
Lifestyle Adjustments to Better Support TUDCA Circulation
Supplementation is an ideal way to ensure your body gets a beneficial amount of TUDCA. But there are a few other ways to help enhance its properties even more.
Here are some lifestyle recommendations that help further support TUDCA:
- Reduce your stress: Try walking, meditation, or journaling to stay mindful and limit your stress response and stress levels.
- Acupuncture: This form of Chinese medicine has remarkable benefits, and may improve TUDCA availability in the body.
- Fiber-rich diet: Always a go-to for me, but nourishing your body with fibers is key to enhancing gut health and the absorption of nutrients.
- Improve gut health: Probiotics, prebiotics, and an overall healthy diet are crucial! Make sure to incorporate probiotic-rich foods and supplements into your routine.
- Avoid and reduce processed food: This is good for benefiting any part of your body, but it will especially help with maintaining TUDCA in the body.
These small lifestyle changes can make a huge difference in your ability to metabolize fats properly. As a gallbladder nutritionist, I’ve seen firsthand how simple changes like these transform your health for the better.
Want More Details on Gallbladder and Liver Support Supplements?
TUDCA is a game-changing gallbladder support supplement for me. It’s helped me feel healthy and confident in managing my gallbladder disease symptoms.
Body Bio has a high-quality TUDCA supplement. It has ingredients that you can trust, and they never use additives in their products. Right now, you can get 15% off your TUDCA supplement by Body Bio by using the code gallbladderdiet at checkout!
The other supplement I trust is Advanced TUDCA by Cell Core. Cell Core TUDCA supports liver detoxification and cellular repair and it’s made in a lab for purity. It’s kosher, vegan, and vegetarian. You can get a discount for Cell Core TUDCA with my code Ag4QHUxm at checkout!
And if you’re curious about my other favorite gallbladder support supplements, check out my list of top supplement recommendations here. Simply create an account with Fullscript for full access to my top gallbladder-supporting supplements.
You’ve learned the benefits of supplementing with TUDCA, especially for us as gallbladder disease patients. But if you’ve had your gallbladder removed, I have more for you…
To learn even more about TUDCA and other recommended supplements specifically for those of you without a gallbladder,
In my FREE post-op masterclass, you’ll discover:
- 5 tips for best supporting your body without a gallbladder
- Ways to optimize your digestion post-op
- PLUS a deep dive into recommended supplements and why they may be right for you
I offer you guidance on supplements that help you break down fats without a gallbladder. So when you sign up for my Free Post-Gallbladder Removal Masterclass, you’ll unlock the tools you need to transform your health and fuel your wellness goals– without a gallbladder!
I can’t wait to see you in the course and to be a part of your journey towards optimal gallbladder and digestive health.
Zangerolamo, L., Vettorazzi, J. F., Rosa, L. R., Carneiro, E. M., & Barbosa, H. C. (2021). The bile acid TUDCA and neurodegenerative disorders: An overview. Life Sciences, 272, 119252. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.lfs.2021.119252
Lu, Q., Jiang, Z., Wang, Q., Hu, H., & Zhao, G. (2021). The effect of Tauroursodeoxycholic acid (TUDCA) and gut microbiota on murine gallbladder stone formation. Annals of Hepatology, 23, 100289. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.aohep.2020.100289
Chiang, Y. L., & Ferrell, J. M. (2020). Bile Acid Biology, Pathophysiology, and Therapeutics. Clinical Liver Disease, 15(3), 91-94. https://doi.org/10.1002/cld.861
Dr. Maggie Lurther & Editorial Staff. What is an Ox Bile Supplement, and What Can it Do For You? Care/of. Nov. 30, 22. www.takecareof.com/articles/what-is-ox-bile-and-what-does-it-do
Wang W, Zhao J, Gui W, Sun D, Dai H, Xiao L, Chu H, Du F, Zhu Q, Schnabl B, Huang K, Yang L, Hou X. Tauroursodeoxycholic acid inhibits intestinal inflammation and barrier disruption in mice with non-alcoholic fatty liver disease. Br J Pharmacol. 2018 Feb;175(3):469-484. doi: 10.1111/bph.14095. Epub 2018 Jan 3. PMID: 29139555; PMCID: PMC5773980.
Dr. Thomas Wnorowski. Should You Use TUDCA for Gallstones? Body Bio. Feb. 17, 23. https://bodybio.com/blogs/blog/tudca-gallstones#:~:text=When%20supplementing%20TUDCA%2C%20we%20highly,and%20ox%20bile%20provides%20these.